What was it like for the people living in new German Länder in the years following reunification? And can they tell us their ideas about how their experience can help us in the future? Berlin company Rohnstock Biografien wants to host 20 digital story-telling salons to discuss these questions and others with people of all ages and from all walks of life. The story-telling and listening will happen online and the video conferences will be streamed on the project’s website www.deine-geschichte-unsere-zukunft.de. The project ‘30 years of German Unity: your story - our future’ receives funding from the Federal Government Commissioner for the New Federal States.

“The transformation following the joy of reunification embraced almost all aspects of life in the new German states. A great deal was asked and a great deal of hard work was done! It is important for these stories to be told, listened to, and harnessed!”, says Marco Wanderwitz, Federal Government Commissioner for the New Federal States. “For the first time, the tried-and-tested format of a story-telling salon will now take place online. We are dovetailing dialogue and digitisation.”

The story-telling salon is an innovative event that was developed by Katrin Rohnstock (59), who was born in the East German city of Jena. A series of ten supraregional events dedicated to “work”, “health”, “education”, “women”, social market economy”, “consumption”, “migration”, “geriatric nursing”, “family”, and “democracy” began on 16 June 2020. The storytellers – women and men young and old – can share the stories they associate with these headings. Parallel to this series, another regional series of ten events was launched on 25 June 2020. The focus of these events is on how people remember the time of reunification in their particular region. Two regions of each new German state will feature in this series. More about the topics and regions: deine-geschichte-unsere-zukunft.de (in German).